My Library – 0e-gaz-07
Gazetteer 7 – The Northern Reaches
- Publisher: TSR
- Rules: Dungeons & Dragons BECMI
- Reference: gaz7 9230
NOTE: The print version of this title does not include spine information.
Welcome to the Land of Vikings. Discover the berserk Jaris of Soderfjord, the Vikings of Vestland, and the fearsome Drakkars of Ostland. The Norther Reaches is a unique complement to your Gazetteer collection, providing detailed background on these three nations, their people, and many adventures, including
- Separate players’ and DM’s booklets-96 pages in all!
- Large, full-color map
- A complete 3-D Viking village
- 32 pages of exciting adventures in The Northern Reaches
- New Runic Magic for the D&D game
- Gates to the Forgotten Realms Campaign Set
- Product History
GAZ7: “The Northern Reaches” (1988), by Ken Rolston and Elizabeth Danforth, is the seventh book in the “GAZ” series of Gazetteers for the Known World. It was published in July 1988.
Continuing the “GAZ” Sourcebooks. As the seventh book in the “GAZ” series, “The Northern Reaches” continued to detail the lands of the Known World. However, it also made some changes to the format of the previous volumes. To start with, it detailed three different realms: Ostland, the Soderfjord Jarldoms, and Vestland. Admittedly, they’re all viking-influenced lands in the north, and so somewhat related.
However, the biggest change in “The Northern Reaches” was in its presentation. Though many of the previous “GAZ” books had included a player section, they were typically pretty short — running as an 8-page pullout. “The Northern Reaches” is instead split into two different books: a 64-page GM book and a 32-page players book.
The players book is mostly crunch, including an extended section on creating Northman characters; this sort of location-specific player information was largely unknown at the time, and foreshadowed the crunchy splat books of the ’90s, including TSR’s very popular “PHBR” series (1989-1995). The players book also includes a “What Everyone Knows” section, which is told in-character. Rolston included a similar section in GAZ2: “The Emirates of Ylaruam” (1987), probably influenced by his work on Chaosium’s RuneQuest (1978+).
Finally, “The Northern Reaches” continued the trend begun in GAZ6: “The Dwarves of Rockhome” (1988) of including notes about adapting the book for use with AD&D. This showed the decline of Basic D&D — once TSR’s top product — and the rise of the AD&D line.
Expanding Basic D&D. The sales decline of Basic D&D took it out of the spotlight, which gave it the ability to be more experimental. This was seen as far back as Mentzer’s BECMI rules sets (1983-1986). This trend of experimental rules also continued in “The Northern Reaches”, which moved toward lifepath character creation with “important past experiences”, “afflictions and accidents”, and more fun random tables. It also polished the skill system from GAZ1: “The Grand Duchy of Karameikos” (1987).
However the most notable new rules in “The Northern Reaches” described optional “personal traits”. These were borrowed directly from Chaosium’s King Arthur Pendragon RPG (1985); they presented paired traits like “Honest / Deceitful” and “Cautious / Rash” that could influence character actions. This sort of emotional characteristic was still very innovative in RPGs in the ’80s, but it would be the system’s only appearance in the Basic D&D game.
Vikings in D&D. Prior to “The Northern Reaches”, TSR had published a few articles on Vikings in Dragon #69 (January 1983), Imagine #30 (September 1985), and a few other places. Northmen also appeared as an adversary in FR2: “Moonshae” (1987). However, “The Northern Reaches” was the first look at a Viking-like people as the central protagonist of a setting. Vikings would return to the central stage in HR1: Vikings Campaign Sourcebook (1992).
Expanding the Known World. “The Northern Reaches” was the book that really solidified the idea of reimagining Earth societies as countries in the Known World. Before that, the arabic-like GAZ2: “The Emirates of Ylaruam” (1987), also by Rolston, was the only other supplement to focus on this trope — though it was also lightly touched upon in the multinational GAZ3: “The Principalities of Glantri” (1987) and elsewhere. “The Northern Reaches” was also more explicit than its predecessors in this connection, even suggesting Viking source material for GMs to read.
Within the context of the Known World, “The Northern Reaches” detailed three countries: Ostland, the Soderfjord Jarldoms, and Vestland. Of these, only Vestland had gotten much attention previously, appearing in X3: “Curse of Xanathon” (1983) and X13: “Crown of Ancient Glory” (1987).
About the Creators. “The Northern Reaches” was Rolston’s second Vikings book, following his coauthorship of RuneQuest Vikings (1985). It was his last work for TSR until HR2: Charlemagne’s Paladins Campaign Sourcebook (1992), a few years later.
About the Product Historian
The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons—a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to email@example.com.
What is My Library
My Library is a section of my blog dedicated to the reference of material I am using in my games and linking it back to the sourcebooks I am using. It is also a handy way to keep track of the material I have.
It is intended as a reference section for personal use, any other use is just a bonus.
D&D BECMI (0e)
Rulebooks (0e-rb): rc
Adventures (0e-adv): b1, b19, x11, x12
Wrath of the Immortals (0e-wi): bs, bs1, bs2
Creature Crucible (0e-pc): 01, 02, 03, 04
Gazetteers (0e-gaz): 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, box, box1, box2, box3
Hollow World (0e-hw): a1, a2, a3, cs, dms, pg, q1, r1, r2, r3
D&D 3rd Edition (3rd Party Products)
Mongoose Publishing (3e-mgp)
– Complete Campaigns:: cc01, cc02, cc03, cc04, cc06
– Cities of Fantasy: cf01, cf02, cf03, cf04, cf05
– Classic Play: cp01, cp02, cp03, cp04, cp05, cp06, cp81, cp82
– Encyclopaedia Arcane: ea01, ea02, ea03, ea04, ea05, ea06, ea07, ea08, ea09, ea10, ea11, ea12, ea13, ea14, ea15, ea16, ea17, ea18, ea19, ea20, ea21, ea22, ea23, ea24, ea25, ea26, ea97
– Epic Players Guide: epg20, epg21, epg22
– Gladiator: gsd
– Monster Encyclopaedia: me50, me51
– Power Classes: pc01, pc02, pc03, pc04, pc05, pc06, pc07, pc08, pc09, pc10, pc11, pc12, pc13
– Quintessential Collector: qc01, qc02, qc03, qc04, qc05, qc06, qc07, qc08, qc09, qc10, qc11, qc12, qc13, qc14, qc15, qc16, qc17, qc18, qc19, qc20, sc21, qc22, qc23, qc41, qc42, qc43, qc44, qc45, qc46, qc47, qc48, qc49, qc50, qc51, qc52, qc91, qc92, qc93
– Slayer’s Guides: sg01, sg02, sg03, sg04, sg05, sg06, sg07, sg08, sg09, sg10, sg11, sg12, sg13, sg14, sg15, sg16, sg17, sg18, sg19, sg20, sg21, sg22, sg23, sg25, sg26, sg27, sg28, sg29, sg30, sg95, sg96, sg98, sg99
– The Planes: tp01, tp02, tp94
– Travellers Tales: tt01, tt02, tt03, tt04, tt05
– Ultimate Handbooks: uh01, uh02, uh03, uh05, uh05, uh06, uh07, uh08, uh09, uh10, uh11, uh13, uh14, uh15
– AP01 – Rise of the Runelords (3e-pzo-rotr): b1, b2, b3, b4, b5, b6, dice, map, pg
– AP02 – Curse of the Crimson Throne (3e-pzo-cct): b1, b2, b3, b4, b5, b6, dice, map, pg
– AP03 – Second Darkness (3e-pzo-sd): b1, b2, b3, b4, b5, b6, dice, map, pg
– AP04 – Legacy of Fire (3e-pzo-lof): b1, b2, b3, b4, b5, b6, dice, map, pg
D&D 5th Edition (5e)
Wizards of the Coast (5e-wiz): ai, bgda, cos, cosrv, dmg, dms, ggr, gos, hdq, mm, mtf, oota, ph, pota, psa, psz, scag, skt, tod, trot, typ, vgm, wdh, wdmm, xge
EN Publishing (5e-enp): et1, et2, etaa, etaw, etrh, etrla
Frog God Games (5e-fgg): bls, bp, bpa, fef, ra, wllra
Goodman Games (5e-gmg): oar1, oar2, oar3, oar4, oar5
Green Ronin (5e-grr): br, tcs
Kobold Press (5e-kob): cc, dm, dm01, dm02, dm03, dm04, dm05, dm06, dm07, dm08, dm09, dm10, dm11, dm12, dm13 dm14, dm15, dm16, dm17, dm18, dm19, dm20, mhh, mw, tob, tob-pawn, tob2, tob2-lair, rob2-pawn
Legendary Games (5e-leg): fkcc, pcc
Rite Publishing (5e-rip): cod
Web Resource (53-web): mph
Pathfinder 1st Edition
– Paizo Rulebooks (pf1-rb): uc
– Campaign Setting (pf1-pcs): psfg,
– Chronicles (pf1-pch): grk, sos
– Companion (pf1-pco): dep
– Modules (pf1-mod): gh, mm
– Return of the Runelords (pf1-rr): b1
– Anniversary Editions (pf1): cotct-ae, rotr-ae, rotr-pg
– Legendary Games (pf1-leg): fkcc, pcc
– Midgard Setting (pf1-kob): mwb
– PFS Organised Play Intro (pf1-pso-intro) fs1, fs2, fs3
– PFS Organised Play Season 1 (pf1-pso-so1) 51
– AP05 – Council of Thieves (pf1-ct): b1, b2, b3, b4, b5, b6, map, pg
– AP06 – Kingmaker (pf1-km): b1, b2, b3, b4, b5, b6, map, pg
– AP07 – Serpent’s Skull (pf1-ser): b1, b2, b3, b4, b5, b6, map, pg
– AP08 – Carrion Crown (pf1-cc): b1, b2, b3, b4, b5, b6, map, pg
– AP09 – Jade Regent (pf1-jr): b1, b2, b3, b4, b5, b6, map, pg
– AP10 – Skull and Shackles (pf1-sku): b1, b2, b3, b4, b5, b6, pg
– AP11 – Shattered Star (pf1-ss): b1, b2
– 1st Ed Rules (br-mgp-1cr): rpg, pe
– 1st Ed Adventure (b5-mgp-1ad): as, ft, ic
– 2nd Ed Adventure (b5-mgp-2ad): ffs
– 1st Ed Fact Books (b5-mgp-1fb): cr, ea, lnaw, mf, nr, tm, vs
– 1st Ed Source Book (b5-mgp-1sb): ef, fm, gg, mtr, pc, ra, zo
– 2nd Ed Source Book (b5-mgp-2sb): dr, ipx, lgfs, lgg, lgp, lgt, rim, sbm, sg
– 1st Ed Time Line (b5-mgp-1tl): s2, s3, s4, s5, s6
– 2nd Ed Time Line (b5-mgp-2tl): lr
– 2nd Ed Ship Plans (b5-mgp-2sp): v3
Star Wars Fantasy Flight Games
– Beginner (sw-ffg-b): ar, ee, fa, fd
– Age of Rebellion (sw-ffg-ar): cr, cm, da, fb, fo, ft, gmk, le, oa, sr, st
– Edge of the Empire (sw-ffg-ee): cr, br, bcr, dc, eu, fc, fh, gmk, jy, ln, mp, nd, sm, sf
– Force and Destiny (sw-ffg-fd): cr, cg, dh, ev, gh, gmk, kf, kp, np, ss, up
– Setting (sw-ffg-s): aa, cr, dr, gg, rs, ss
- 2021-05-09 – Adding in related links.
- 2020-12-17 – Title from gaz7 to 0e-gaz-07.
This site is constantly under revision, no blog posts are final as this is a work in progress place for me to develop my game settings and rules. Some posts might be placeholders for future content, so feel free to check back later for updated information.